Intel has released version 1.0 of their Intel Core vPro PowerShell Module. This set of cmdlets do Out-of-Band hardware management of devices that are equipped with the vPro chip. What that means is that you can do a certain amount of management on devices that don’t have an OS or whose OS is hung (if you are using one of our competitor’s OSes .. or haven’t upgraded to the awesome W7 ). This allows you do things like turn machines on or off, change the boot sequence, change power plans etc.
Now in all honesty, this module provides you nothing new. You could always use the WINRM executable to perform these functions. So too, you could use PowerShell *-WSMAN* cmdlets to do everything you can do with this module. More precisely, maybe YOU could do this – honestly I never could and that points out why PowerShell is so important. You might have noticed that in my talks, I love to have a HW mgmt demonstration but I never do the demo. The reason for that is that to that when you use WINRM or the *-WSMAN* cmdlets, you need to understand so many low level details that it makes my head explode. Literally – I will not do this demo because I have no confidence that I could get all those things right in an environment where getting it right really mattered.
So now think about that a second. Like your IT shop isn’t an environment where it matters whether you get it right or not? It absolutely does have to be right. The nice thing about that environment is that often you have more time/less pressure than a demo in a talk and you can capture the procedure in a script and have people review the script. BUT… other times you don’t have those luxuries.
The thing we keep hammering over and over again is that PowerShell is all about delivering “high level task oriented abstractions using common naming and consistent syntax”. The mechanisms I mentioned above are very low level abstractions. What Intel is bringing to the table is the high-level task oriented abstractions! The things where you think about what you want to accomplish, type it, and thanks to all the hard work of the superstar engineers at Intel – it just works! And if you have a question, it has rich help with lots of examples. And if you want to manage multiple machines, they adhered to the PowerShell guidelines so doing multi-machine management is seamless.
It’s really nice stuff and you should check it out. You can get more details and view a cool HD video HERE.
The version 1 module does not cover the full function of vPro but it looks like a great start:
Oh and I almost forgot the best part – the cost … FREE.
Jeffrey Snover [MSFT]